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Dallas Mavericks center Tyson Chandler has fired back at the New York Knicks for suggestions that he caused chemistry issues at the franchise last season.
Knicks team president Phil Jackson cited a desire to “change some of the chemistry” of the team as one of the reasons behind his decision to trade Chandler and point guard Raymond Felton to the Mavericks.
While the Knicks acquired Jose Calderon in exchange, Jackson’s comments haven’t gone down well with Chandler, who interpreted it as a criticism of his personal leadership skills and team ethic.
Chandler has been portrayed as a player that can cause internal problems in several media reports since, and he isn’t impressed with the effect that Jackson’s comments have had on his reputation.
“I did nothing but try to help the culture there the three years I was there. You can say I didn’t live up to whatever or you didn’t like the way I played or anything. But to ever question who I am and the type of leader I am in the locker room, I don’t even know where that came from,” Chandler said, according to ESPN.
“I honestly don’t know where that came from. I don’t know if Phil put that out there or who put that out there, but to me, that was the ultimate shock. And you don’t have to say that to get rid of me or to trade me. The trade is over.
“So to judge my character and what I’ve done, you can go look at all my teammates and ask all of my teammates in the past, and the coaches I’ve played for, and I’ve never been a problem and never had a problem. So that was a shock to me that I didn’t appreciate.”
While Chandler insists that his attitude wasn’t a problem last season, he did concede that his performances on the court were perhaps short of his best as he ended the season averaging 8.7 points and 9.6 rebounds in 55 games.
The Knicks missed out on the playoffs which ultimately led to the overhaul with Jackson’s arrival, but Chandler will now focus his attention on helping the Mavericks top a competitive Western Conference after winning a championship with the organisation back in 2011.
Dallas owner Mark Cuban has previously emphasised Chandler’s leadership ability as one of the big factors in bringing him back, and with the former Knicks star insisting that he had no problems with his former team-mates, he clearly does have an issue with whoever started the false accusations.